Essentially, COTE is a couple’s day out. TCF seeks to organize a 4-day expedition aimed at invigorating companionship and passion in their marriage. During this expedition, individuals with a SIP partner are instructed on positive communication skills and other vital relationship facets, orchestrated in a fun and relaxing environment meant to stoke their romantic flame.
Imagine a nightmare where the love of your life experiences a tragic accident that robs them of their ability to do the things you both loved to do and plunges them into a deep depression. For you it may be an imagination, but for some it’s a poignant reality. Relationships are complicated enough as it were, without adding the proverbial insult to injury to the equation. Creating and sustaining a fruitful relationship can be daunting if you don’t have the skills or the kind of love and commitment that helps you work through the problems that typify any relationship. Knowing how to preserve a connection, communicate well and resolve relationship problems is central to a successful relationship.
Through our engagement with SIP couples, TCF has discovered that a spinal injury and the ensuing changes in lifestyle often precipitate an overwhelming strain on the relationship. A common theme among these couples is the cessation of fun trips, walks, laughter, passion and companionship, which triggers bottled up resentment and bitterness. Not to mention the fact that sexual relations and intimacy with their partners may decline or stop entirely, and that partners end up feeling torn between supporting their injured spouse and the demanding tasks of everyday life. Caregiving spouses have been known to ignore or neglect their own health and needs. More of the caregiving spouses report feelings of stress, burnout, fatigue, anger and resentment resulting to somatic (appetite loss, sleeplessness) and affective (feeling sad, crying) manifestations of depression. In fact, the caregiving spouses are said to be as or more depressed than their spinally injured partner.
In light of this, TCF firmly believes that the COTE program will be vital for couples with a SIP spouse. We invite and seek to collaborate with experts to facilitate the counseling process innate to the COTE program. With your help, we aim at creating wonderful memories and memorable experiences for couples during these 4-day expeditions.